Tea Party's "Washington Trucker Shutdown" A Complete Failure

ProudProgressive 2013/10/12 13:18:43
It started out as a hoax. A man named Earl Conlon created the story of a "massive shutdown of the Capital Beltway by irate truckers" who planned to "arrest Members of Congress", only to later admit: "The comments to U.S. News were designed to do one thing and one thing only: stir the feather of the mainstream media," said Conlon, a father of three. "Nothing gets the attention of the mainstream media like some sort of disastrous threat. I knew it was going to ruffle some feathers." The Tea Partiers, however, never ones to pass up the opportunity to further complicate and burden the lives of the average Americans, took the hoax seriously (another common trait among Tea Partiers) and began to push the story. A few days ago they predicted that ten thousand truckers would be there. As the appointed date grew closer and they realized that they had no support, they lowered their estimate to three thousand truckers. Then, in a last ditch effort to stir the "I hate the American government" crowd they began circulating the ludicrous lie that the President was calling out the National Guard to shut down I-495 (never mind that even a Tea Partier should know that actually doing what you're trying to prevent isn't exactly rational.)

They wound up with about thirty trucks.

Article excerpt follows:

Trucker protest hits Beltway but causes no major delays, authorities say
By Dana Hedgpeth and Lori Aratani
October 11, 2013

Police authorities in Maryland and Virginia reported no major incidents Friday as a result of the much-talked about truckers protest around the Beltway. Drivers of tractor trailers had said they were going to drive slowly to block off parts of the Beltway to protest excessive government intrusion.

There were police reports of about 30 tractor trailers with American flags and signs for their protest — "Truckers Ride for the Constitution" — driving at the same speed as the rest of traffic on the Beltway in Friday morning's rush hour. But by mid-day the truckers appeared to have broken into smaller groups amid already-heavy volumes of traffic and rain showers on a holiday weekend.

In Maryland, state police officials said Friday there were a few minor accidents in the morning on the outer loop of the Beltway in College Park at the Route 1 exit and at the Route 50 exit in Landover — none of them were related to the trucker protest.

The trucker protesters seemed to be but a mere blip on the traffic cameras of area police officials.

Given there are roughly 200,000 to 250,000 vehicles daily on the Beltway — with roughly 10 percent of them being tractor trailers, the protestor group was going to have to do a lot to stand out, according to David Buck, a spokesman for the Maryland State Highway Administration.

"We saw about 20 of their trucks this morning coming from Route 66 in Virginia into Maryland," he said. "They were going the speed limit but it was stop and go traffic, and we've had six inches of rain for the last two and a half days.

"Nothing materialized," he said of the truckers protest, which had taken on a life of its own online.

In Virginia, extra troopers were on hand — in part — because of the expected trucker protest. Earlier Friday morning, Virginia police said the trucks traveled in the right lane of the Beltway, keeping pace with other traffic — around 40 to 45 miles per hour, due to the wet road conditions, said Virginia State Police spokesman Corinne N. Geller.

But by mid-morning, she said, the group was becoming harder to track.

"It was pretty much a non-event," she said. "They continued to comply with the laws. I would think the heavy traffic and the rain made it hard for them to stay together."

Virginia state police did stop four tractor-trailers Friday morning after they drove side-by-side, across all four northbound lanes of the Beltway's inner loop. That caused traffic to slow to 15 miles per hour. State police troopers stopped the vehicles and "warned them not to impede traffic," Geller said. The drivers were not issued tickets and allowed to "proceed on their way."

In a dial-in conference call with the group called "Truckers Ride for the Constitution," one of the protest organizers — Zeeda Andrews — chatted with a truck driver who was going by the name General Lee (otherwise known as Ernest Lee from Bullhead City, Ariz.), and other organizers.

Tom Lacovara of Woodbury, N.J., who was riding with Lee, around 11 a.m. on the Beltway in Lee's tractor-trailer said the two and other protesters had stopped for a bathroom break mid-day Friday at a weigh station near the Beltway and Interstate 95 in College Park.

He said the group had tried to register protesters at meeting spots along Interstate 95, but it had trouble keeping track of groups and where they were driving in from so they abandoned writing it down. It was unclear — even to him and Lee — just how many protesters were out on the Beltway.

"This is the first movement," Lacovara said. "I would be making up a number if I guessed how many trucks are out here. I can just tell you we have a healthy group and an even healthier group on the way."

He said the group expects its protest to run through Sunday but had no intentions of causing traffic snarls on the Beltway.

"We didn't want to hurt the American people," he said. "That's why we wanted to do it on a Friday, Saturday and Sunday when traffic is lighter. Otherwise we would roll in here on a Monday or Tuesday and shut it down."

In Pennsylvania, police officials said there were no sightings earlier in the morning of the trucker protest in Harrisburg where leaders had said they planned to meet before heading to Maryland to access the Beltway.

"Nothing," said Pennsylvania State Police Trooper Adam Reed at 8:50 a.m. Friday. "There are no signs of them here."

There was confusion earlier this week about whether the protest was really going to happen, or was a hoax. Andrews had said the ride was a go, emphasizing that it would be peaceful. Another Georgia trucker, Earl Conlon, had said it was just a ploy to get attention.

Andrews said she expected "a few thousand truckers" to descend on the District on Friday. Police officials had said that as long as no one breaks the law, the truckers will be allowed to proceed with their activities — just as other groups have in the past.

Even though the rally plans drew more than 136,000 Facebook likes, trucking industry groups stepped forward to disavow the group's action. The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, which represents small-business trucking professionals, said it did not support the protest.

Officials with the American Trucking Associations said their organization "is not a sponsor of this ‘strike' nor do we endorse or condone the activities of these few individuals."

The protest group's agenda has evolved since the story began making the rounds of news outlets early this week, with a story in U.S. News & World Report that said some truckers wanted members of Congress arrested, while others called for the ouster of President Obama.

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  • Zoo Boo 2013/10/14 15:36:34
  • Transquesta 2013/10/14 06:33:31 (edited)
    I dunno who hoaxed whom, and for the life of me I cannot fathom why liberals spend so much time and energy on berating, bashing and trashing a largely defunct political faction, but the big non event was both funny as hell and sad at the same time. Funny because gover-business media got it's panties in a wad over nothing, and sad because it demonstrated how gutless we've become.
  • unclepat 2013/10/13 21:30:56
  • Lulu's Mom 2013/10/13 16:33:22
    Lulu's Mom
    Someone said it was going to start today. So where are they???
  • mach 2013/10/13 16:21:40
    If you look a little closer, the truckers did indeed show up in force....although driving family sedans driving the speed limit pretending to be DC residents. DC traffic jam
    Just look at all of em!!!
  • illinoyed mach 2013/10/15 03:22:38
  • HOMBRE 2013/10/13 13:11:18
    Look at the memorial sunday morning it is now full of people and people still pouring in.
  • HOMBRE HOMBRE 2013/10/13 13:12:10
  • Sharon HOMBRE 2013/10/13 22:06:16
  • ProudPr... HOMBRE 2013/10/13 15:16:49
    LOL I guess when the Koch Brothers were recruiting people to make it look like the Right Wing still has supporters they forgot to tell them to bring their trucks. Remember, you folks said you were going to have ten thousand trucks circling the beltway for three days tying up traffic. One of your more delusional colleagues even claimed there was a secret plan for the National Guard to shut down I-495.

    Here's what you got:

    "Dozens, not thousands, show up for DC trucker protest"

  • HOMBRE ProudPr... 2013/10/13 15:18:34
  • ProudPr... HOMBRE 2013/10/13 15:28:07
    Funny how it's CLOUDY in Washington, isn't it.

    Why don't you throw in some palm trees.
  • HOMBRE ProudPr... 2013/10/13 15:30:09
  • illinoyed HOMBRE 2013/10/15 03:26:38
    So where are the trucks?
  • illinoyed HOMBRE 2013/10/15 03:25:59
    that picture could have been taken anywhere.
  • DDogbreath ProudPr... 2013/10/13 21:08:28
    Funny that you are so worried about the "Koch Brothers" when you should be holding "your guy's" feet to the fire.

    funny worried koch brothers holding guys feet fire
  • Transqu... DDogbreath 2013/10/14 06:37:30
  • illinoyed DDogbreath 2013/10/14 07:54:25
    I thought Valerie Jarrett was Obama's puppet master! Or Bill Ayers! Or, or . . . . .
  • DDogbreath illinoyed 2013/10/14 16:13:25
    I have never accused anyone other than George Soros so don't give me that crap.

    accused george soros crap
  • illinoyed DDogbreath 2013/10/14 16:18:55
    Oh, okay, it's Soros for you then. There's some guy on SH who is absolutely convinced Valerie Jarrett is the one with her hand up Obama's back.

    To each their own.
  • DDogbreath illinoyed 2013/10/14 17:42:38
    You can't really expect a POTUS to be that stupid on his own can you?
  • illinoyed DDogbreath 2013/10/14 17:56:42
    It's happened before:
    pictures of W  Bush
  • DDogbreath illinoyed 2013/10/14 18:41:28
    I agree but that's no excuse to continue the process.
  • illinoyed DDogbreath 2013/10/15 02:53:22
  • Transqu... ProudPr... 2013/10/14 06:36:26 (edited)
  • popeyethesailorman 2013/10/13 13:08:47

    Obama's Park Police Storm troopers deny entrance to Veterans at Iwo Jima Memorial 10/12/13

  • ProudPr... popeyet... 2013/10/13 15:18:15
    The Park Police are doing their jobs. When the Republicans shut down the government they shut down all our memorials.

    But keep trying. Those ten thousand trucks you promised us should show up any minute now.

    "Dozens, not thousands, show up for DC trucker protest"

  • popeyet... ProudPr... 2013/10/13 15:23:37
    Looks like their job is a complete and utter failure!!! But keep trying.

    Veterans fight back

    take over


    Supporting Veterans

    barricades dumped

  • DDogbreath popeyet... 2013/10/13 21:11:31
    Here's a couple more from today

    Oct 13th Protest

    Protest sign middle finger
  • illinoyed DDogbreath 2013/10/14 07:56:24 (edited)
    So it looks like the WWII Memorial is the new White House tours? Have fun with that, no one cares.

    Hey, whatever happened to the truckers that were going to shut down Washington this weekend and arrest politicians? LOL
  • DDogbreath illinoyed 2013/10/15 03:17:33
    They couldn't afford the $4.00 a gallon fuel @ 6 mpg.
  • illinoyed DDogbreath 2013/10/15 03:28:49
    LOL! Funny how no one thought of that when inviting 10,000 semis to DC. Those things are not cheap to drive!
  • DDogbreath illinoyed 2013/10/15 03:39:36
    Although I drove them for 20 years without an accident, I did not plan the event. Feeding your face and making your truck payment always comes first.
  • illinoyed DDogbreath 2013/10/14 18:00:06
    Of course Obama doesn't own it. The Federal Gov. does.
  • DDogbreath illinoyed 2013/10/15 03:40:19
    Wrong the people of the USA own them.
  • illinoyed DDogbreath 2013/10/15 03:48:58
    Not sure.
  • Sharon 2013/10/13 12:33:17
  • DDogbreath Sharon 2013/10/13 21:13:02
  • Sharon DDogbreath 2013/10/13 22:05:30
  • DDogbreath Sharon 2013/10/14 02:02:25
    I've had a few co-drivers that looked like Clyde. Unfortunately for them and me they weren't nearly as smart. I think they were Democrats too.
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